Saturday 31 January 2015

A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest

A Shade of Vampire (A Shade of Vampire, #1)A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is a quick read and it will capture your attention from the very first page.

What a way to celebrate your seventeenth birthday! Sofia is kidnapped and beomes a slave to a group of vampires. Derek, prince of the vampires, is intrigued by Sofia and takes her as his own. Sofia hopes this is a nightmare she will wake up from but quickly realizes this is her life now. What will happen to Sofia now? Will she be able to escape this nightmare?

Sofia and Derek are both strong characters. Sofia is willing to stand up for what she believes no matter the cost. Derek, despite his power, can still be tender and compassionate. I enjoyed watching the story unfold and was sad to see it end. I will be looking forward to the next installment.

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Aurora: Secrets behind Reality by Marina Latcko

Aurora: Secrets behind RealityAurora: Secrets behind Reality by Marina Latcko
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was not what I expected, and that was both good and different. The good was that it took me on a wild ride. It felt like a combination of the tilt-a-world and space mountain. One minute I felt I was going up, the next I start spinning. Then I plummented to the ground and start all over again. The different is that is doesn't flow like a traditional American YA novel. It is written by a Russian author and the main character is of Russian descent so sometimes the translation wasn't as smooth as it should be. Despite this issue I loved the book. It is full of conspiracy theories, secret organizations, sci-fi gadgets and an overwhelming feeling that you can't trust anyone including yourself. If you are looking for something unique to read that will keep you guessing then this is the book for you.

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Avenging Amethyst by Kaitlyn Price

Avenging Amethyst (Immortal Eyes, #1)Avenging Amethyst by Kaitlyn Price
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Avery and her mom have been on the run all her life. When her mom is murdered, Avery is left alone, scared with many unanswered questions. She wants to find out who murdered her mom and why. She gets a note from someone claiming to have some of the answers she is seeking. Avery reluctantly meets with him. Felix is a good looking guy with the same unique eye color as Avery. He informs her that they are not human but Lovac, which are part of the vampire race along with the Nesmyr and Zhulik. Avery is plunged into a world she never knew existed much less would have ever dreamed she would be a member. Will Felix help Avery find her mom's killer and avenge her death?

This was an intriguing start to a new series. While I enjoyed the story, I didn't feel connected to the characters at times. I also felt the story was a little rushed. I would have liked to have seen a little more development of each character. Despite my problems with this story, I would like to find out what happens next with Avery and Felix.

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Friday 30 January 2015

Drain Me by Lana Sky: Interview + Giveaway


Drain Me
Ellie Gray Chronicles # 1
by Lana Sky

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Number of pages: 550
Cover Artist: Imogenary Designs

When diagnosed with a fatal illness at the age of twenty six, Eleanor Gray is resigned to her fate—at least until the enigmatic Dublin Helos appears and makes her an offer she knows she should refuse:

Life or Death?

With a decision as harmless as checking the wrong box on a mysterious questionnaire, Ellie is plunged into a dangerous world where souls are sold to the highest bidder and pleasure is fueled by pain.

The rules of this new life are simple: submit everything—mind, body and soul. But the further Ellie falls under Dublin’s control, the more she comes to realize that it’s not just her sanity at stake, but her heart and a whole lot of blood too.

Find Drain Me on Goodreads

Available at Amazon

About the Author: 
Lana Sky is a reclusive writer in the United States who spends most of her time daydreaming about complex male characters and legless cats. She writes mostly paranormal romance, in between watching reruns of Ab Fab and drinking iced tea. Only iced tea.


Q & A with Lana Sky

Q:  Tell us a little bit about your main characters.
Dublin is a vampire and Ellie is the stubborn, annoying human who unknowingly thwarts him at every turn. Together they make for an interesting pair.

Q:  Describe your ideal writing spot.
  My bed! I tend to write primarily in my bed, curled up in an awkward position with my laptop balanced on my chest. Don’t ask how I manage that.

Q:  Who designed the covers for your book and what was that process like for you as the author?
My cover was designed by the lovely Imogen Isles at Imogenary Designs. It was a blast! I feel like she really captured the essence of Drain Me in a simple, but breathtaking design. The process was rather simple. I drove her crazy with a million ideas and examples, and she used her design expertise to create something incredible.

Q:  What is the best advice you have been given?
  The best advice I’ve been given as an author is to take every opinion with a grain of salt—good or bad. Not everyone will enjoy every story and that’s okay. As long as your words resonate with one person, then you’ve done your job as an author. 
Q:  How do you keep busy when you're not writing?
I work as a nurse and I…sleep. Work and sleep are pretty much the only things I do, besides writing! I’m always writing, or plotting or dreaming up new characters. I can’t help myself.

Q:  Which do you prefer: hard/paperbacks or ebooks?
I’ve recently forged and unhealthy relationship with my Kindle, but nothing beats the feel—and the smell!—of a brand new paperback.

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Thursday 29 January 2015

Q & A with Author E.G. Manetti

The Cartel: The Apprentice, Volume 1
The Twelve Systems Chronicles #1
by E.G. Manetti

Welcome to the Twelve Systems, a technologically advanced society ruled by a small number of elite, the warriors. The first book in the Twelve Systems Chronicles, The Cartel, begins the tale of one of the most compelling couples to enter fiction in some time.

Lilian is twenty-four, well-educated, disgraced, destitute and desperate. Raised to wealth and power, her expectations of a bright future were destroyed when her father was executed for foul crimes. Her family name is erased, their cartouche melted, their property forfeit. Determined to survive and protect what remains of her family, Lilian becomes the apprentice of a powerful warrior. For three years, he will train her for a position in the Cartels. In return, Lilian will yield him absolute control of her mind and body.

Lucius Mercio is the preeminent warrior of his Cartouche, and the Cartel it dominates; the Serengeti Group. Ruthless, clever and ambitious, Lucius' wealth, influence, and power are exceeded by few within the Twelve Systems. It is not sufficient. Lucius intends to take his Cartel to unimaginable heights with the aid of Lilian's brilliance. He faces only one obstacle. Lucius must keep Lilian alive.
ebook, 250 pages
Published November 29th 2012 by Buniac Entertainment, LLC

Find The Cartel: The Apprentice, Volume 1 on Goodreads

Buy Links: Amazon B&N

Read It & Reap Date: March 26, 2015

The Twelve Systems Chronicles are science fiction/fantasy with romance and suspense. The first two volumes, The Cartel and Bright Star are E.G's first published works. She works in IT and writes as often as possible. When neither goes well, she cooks exceptionally and gardens adequately. E.G. resides on the East Coast of the USA with her beloved (and often confounded) husband and their severely OCD Jack Russell Terrier.



Q & A with Author E.G. Manetti

Q:  Tell us a little bit about your main characters.
Lilian is fierce and passionate r with a remarkable amount of self-control and determination. At the beginning of The Cartel, Lilian is in dire straits through no fault of her own. Courageously, she refuses to dwell on what she has lost and stoically faces a dangerous and uncertain future. Although Lucius is often harsh and confusing, she finds him compelling and often far more lenient than she has any reason to expect.

Lucius is truly a master of the universe, or at least his corner of the galaxy. He is the one percent of the one percent. He has it all and keeps it through ruthlessness and deviousness. After decades in the leadership of Serengeti and the Twelve Systems, Lucius is rarely surprised. His intelligence network and his brilliance keep him several moves ahead of his rivals. He thinks he’s in control of the situation with Lilian and is both stunned and intrigued by her pragmatic acceptance of her misfortune and trial.

There’s a lot of tension between Lucius and Lilian due to their respective positions in the hierarchy of the Twelve Systems. In a rigid society, neither of them is particularly conventional, so they are constantly confounding each other. Fortunately, Lilian is a fast learner and Lucius has a sense of humor.

Q:  What do you see as influences on your writing style?
The short answer is every author I’ve ever read. Although I think movies and television are also huge in terms of story structure and timing. For source material I pulled on history, science, and my experience in large corporations - many of which are every bit as byzantine as the Serengeti Group and the Twelve Systems.

In terms of my romantic sci-fi subgenre, romance writers I really enjoy include Roberta Gellis, Julia Harwood, Catherine Coulter, Katleen Woodwiss and Amanda Quick. For science-fiction - Frank Herbert, Robert Heinlein, and Roger Zelazny are at the top of the list. Additionally, I think fantasy writers have had a big impact on my ideals around world building with Carol Berg, Mercedes Lackey, and Jacqueline Carey leaping to mind.

Q:  Who designs the covers for your books and what is that process like for you as an author?
Jim O’Connor ( creates my book covers based on concepts developed in discussions with my creative editor, Carolyn Manetti ( For The Cartel I wanted to invoke intrigue, adventure, and romance. I also wanted a format where I could use elements in subsequent covers to tie the series together. Carolyn convinced me to work with simple powerful images and stay away from both the conventional compositions of embracing couples and fantasy solar systems. We settled on the idea of using important objects from the story. From there it was up to Jim and his genius eye for shadow and composition. His photograph perfectly conveys the stark and dark reality of Lilian’s life, brightened by the hope of Lucius’ patronage as symbolized by the ruby studs.

Q:  Describe your ideal writing spot.
A room with a view.

Q:  What is the best advice you have been given?
Best writing advice or best overall advice?

The best overall advice was from a supervisor when I first started in my career in IT – Make your mistakes quickly. Get it over with. Learn from it and move on. It also works for writing and promoting my writing.

The best writing advice was from my creative editor – Character! Character! Character! A good story is about the characters. As a corollary – Show don’t tell. Use the drama and interactions among the characters to tell the story, not straight narrative.

Q:  Which do you prefer: hard/paperbacks or ebooks?
I like all three. Lately, I’ve gravitated to e-books for the portability, the environmental benefits and the access to indie authors. The big downside is that they are very difficult to lend and don’t have that nice ‘feel’ of physical books.

Q:  If you could be any supernatural creature, what would you choose and why?
Something with wings, but not an angel because they don’t get free will.

Q:  What book are you reading now?
I’ve recently finished Kim Harrison’s final installment in the Hallows series, Witch with No Name. Now I’m starting a collection of steampunk novellas recommended by one of my Goodreads groups: Lady Jessica Monster Hunter (Episodes 1-6) by Keith Dumble.

Tuesday 27 January 2015

Forged in Fire by Juliette Cross: Interview + Giveaway

Forged in Fire
The Vessel Trilogy #1
by Juliette Cross 

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance 
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd 
Number of pages: 318 pages 
Cover Artist: Kanaxa 

She never knew this demon world existed. Now she just wants to survive it.

Genevieve Drake never needed a man to come to her rescue. Not until the night of her twentieth birthday, when some dude nearly chokes her to death in an alley behind a New Orleans Goth club. And a hot stranger splits the guy in half, rips a monster from inside, and incinerates it into ash.

The hunky rescuer? Jude Delacroix—Dominus Daemonum, Master of Demons, now her guardian, whether she likes it or not. But she’s seriously beginning to like it.

Her would-be murderer turns out to be only the first of many minions of the demon prince, Danté, who has all kinds of lascivious and sadistic plans. Which means when the formidably beautiful Jude offers his protection, Genevieve has no problem accepting it.

For Jude and his fellow demon hunters tell her she is a Vessel, one who is born to serve the Light, but can be corrupted into a weapon of darkness. And to survive, she must trust a man whose unearthly eyes promise heaven…but whose powers unleash hell.

Warning: Contains a dark and brooding demon hunter who harbors even darker secrets, a snarky heroine who’s being hunted by every demon in the underworld, and a sadistic demon prince with a fancy for violent sexual encounters.

Find it on Goodreads

Available at Amazon    B&N    Kobo


Juliette calls lush, moss-laden Louisiana home where the landscape curls into her imagination, creating mystical settings for her stories. She has a B.A. in creative writing from Louisiana State University, a M.Ed. in gifted education, and was privileged to study under the award-winning author Ernest J. Gaines in grad school. Her love of mythology, legends, and art serve as constant inspiration for her works. From the moment she read JANE EYRE as a teenager, she fell in love with the Gothic romance--brooding characters, mysterious settings, persevering heroines, and dark, sexy heroes. Even then, she not only longed to read more novels set in Gothic worlds, she wanted to create her own.

Amazon Author Page:

Q & A with Author Juliette Cross
Q:  Tell us a little bit about your main characters.
Genevieve Drake is very sure of herself and her place in the world. She was raised by a doting father, and rather than become a pampered prima donna, she takes the alternate route in becoming fiercely independent and tomboyish in her ways. Her downfall is that she sees the world only one way—her own. When the façade comes crashing down the day she realizes not only are their demons living amongst them, but some want to kill her, she’s knocked off her perfect pedestal and struggles to recapture her equilibrium.

Master of Demons, Jude Delacroix, helps her understand her new place, but he also becomes a tempting and dangerous distraction. As her protector, he demands obedience in order to keep her safe, and he’s not happy when she decides to traipse about without telling him, like when she decides to go on a date. Let’s just say Jude doesn’t play well with others. And he suffers no fools.

Q:  Describe your ideal writing spot.
That would be my comfy chair in the den (where I’m currently hunkered down). My other escape-to-write spot happens to be my daughter’s bedroom, curled up in her bed with my laptop. For some reason, it’s one of the quietest spots in the house. I suppose since she has three brothers, none of them seem to be traipsing in and out. And my boys can always find me everywhere else. (Yes, I know it’s sad, but I have to hide from them to get anything accomplished.)

Q:  Who designed the covers for your book and what was that process like for you as the author?
Oh, wow. Kanaxa designed all three of the covers for the Vessel Trilogy, and she is crazy talented. A benefit of publishing with Samhain is that they allow their authors a good deal of input in their covers. Not all publishers are open to showing authors mock-ups and letting them make suggestions to get the final cover to their liking. Kanaxa was the perfect artist for these books. She just understood my vision and made it happen in a kick-ass way.

Q:  What is the best advice you have been given?
Never give up. (And that’s good advice for every aspect of life.)

Q:  If you could have any superhuman ability, what would you choose and why?
Hmmm, I suppose it would be flight. To soar in the sky with great powerful wings and see the world from above—it seems so magical. I suppose that’s why I created the dragon hybrids of the Morgon world in the Nightwing series. Writers get to live out their own fantasies sometimes in the worlds they create.

Q:  What book are you reading now?
I just finished A Touch of Midnight by Lara Adrian. I’ve had to shorten my reading time lately in order to meet my deadline for book three in the Vessel Trilogy. So I’ve been picking up novellas. I adore Adrian’s Midnight Breed series.

Thank you, Shut up & Read, for having me today! Awesome to be here. 

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